Chatbots for Expense Tracking: an Emerging Trend in Finance

Michael M
Michael Morozov
Founder & CEO

It is the end of the month, and you are running out of cash. Where did your money go? A trip to Europe, your brother’s birthday, that debt you had to pay…something else? Ask your money saving chatbot.

Personal bot assistants that help users save money

Trim, Plum, Cleo, and Chip are just a few examples of free digital assistants that track people’s expenses and help them save money.

To start managing your financial balance with any of these expense saving services you have to link your financial chatbot with a bank account.

Trim chatbot (US-based), for instance, saves you money by canceling unused subscriptions. You can also add credit card/debit cards as it automatically scours accounts for recurring services.

Meanwhile, chatbot Plum (UK-based) monitors your spending and automatically sets money aside for you. It “learns” how much you earn, spend, and your financial behavior, in general, to calculate how much you can save.

The growing number of fintech startups includes Cleo (UK, Europe) — an artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot.

This service creates a pie chart that displays the share of your spending appurtenant to various categories (e.g. transport and groceries).

chatbot-conversation

As it is connected to your Facebook account, you receive text messages that may help you find better deals with banks, stop over-paying on credit cards, and understand your spending habits.

The London-based financial assistant Chip also has interesting features. In addition to helping you save tiny pots of money (chatbot calculates how much you can manage to save and puts this amount away automatically), its AI-powered algorithm enables you to repay the overdraft.

Considering the fact that your debt isn’t separated from the main bank balance, it gives a false indication that all money on the balance is yours.

To help you with this, the AI-powered chatbot alerts you about the overdraft and gives you information on the average amount you borrow monthly and what it costs.

You might be shocked at the amount of bank and service fees you are paying every month without even realizing it. All of these expense tracking chatbots are aimed to help you improve your spending habits.

The role of a ‘personal touch’ in delivering services is difficult to overestimate. However, chatbots are a great way to lower the amount of friction it commonly takes.

From Excel files to expense tracking mobile apps to chatbots

Traditionally, people manage their money using Excel documents. Some of us use mobile apps or banking services. And only recently we have started using chatbots to keep control of our spending habits.

You might find it interesting if you can’t make a choice between a chatbot and a mobile application.

To gain a better understanding of digital services that help users save money, let’s look at the most popular personal finance app on the market.

Mint Personal Finance helps users manage all of their finances in one place.

Mint UI

Mint UI

See also: 7 Benefits of Adopting Chatbot by Small and Medium Business

How Mint Personal Finance works

Mint is free of charge application and simple to get started with. The system is connected to almost every US financial institution. You can easily do anything you want with your money through Mint except bill payments (which is not obligatory, as it demands additional data).

Despite the fact that Mint is an ad-supported service, it ensures that all advertisements you’d see would be notably useful.

Since Mint knows precisely how much interest you’re paying/earning on all your financial accounts, it uses targeted advertising to suggest banks and accounts with better rates from its ad network. This is how Mint makes money.

Naturally, it is vital to know what level of security is covering the fintech service.

Mint has no access to users’ personal data, nor even to the sensitive information, you type in. Aaron Patzer, from Mint.com, said the website protects user’ names and passwords with bank-grade security.

“The account information is encrypted and stored on Mint.com’s own servers, which are located in an unmarked building. To get into the building one needs to scan his or her hand, pass by a guard and then go through a long hallway where you’ll be trapped if there are suspicions about you. Inside, the servers are locked in a cage separated from other systems and constantly monitored,” Mr. Patzer said.

If you’re looking to develop a finance app like Mint, you need to know that  It had five rounds of funding with a total funding amount accounting for $31,775,000.

Now you can get some understanding of how much it might cost to develop such a service.

When it comes to money-saving chatbots, the price of the development becomes affordable even to startups.

Chatbot in Banking

Why can chatbots for saving money be a better option?

This year, financial chatbots implementation is being drastically increased in three niches: trading, insurance, and banking.

ComScore study states that most of the mobile users spend 85% of their time using email and messaging apps. At the same time, Personetics claim that nearly a quarter of all downloaded apps are deleted after just one use.

Bots are much more comfortable and efficient. They don’t need to be downloaded.

Chatbots speak for a new trend in the way people make decisions, access data, and interact.

The advantages of chatbots in financial services

        1. Chatbots can personalize the user experience.

Expense tracking chatbots track user financial behavior and accumulate customers’ data in outstanding amounts. This information can be used to personalize the customer experience and improve the quality of service.

        2. Chatbots increase user retention.

Chatbots leverage the power of messaging apps which means they offer excellent opportunities for user retention.

        3. Chatbots appeal to millennials.

Chatbots appeal to millennials and customers with high buying power. Chatbots allow users to deal with dull and complicated financial issues in a familiar language. Today’s youth appreciate technology like no one else.

By using artificial intelligence, a chatbot can imitate the informal way of communication and this idea seems to be even more attractive to the younger generation of users.

        4. Chatbots are cost-effective.

Chabots for finance are cost-effective for financial institutions. Businesses spend terrific sums of money maintaining their call centers and support departments. Fintech chatbots reduce the need for support services.

Unlike a human support services employee, chatbot won’t get tired of talking to a client. Ever. Answering with no delays, it is able to collect an incredible amount of data which can be used to create more personalized offers in the future.

Personal assistants for saving money are competent in a variety of ways for both parties: the business owners and the end-users.

But the question of how chatbots are implemented in front and behind the scenes is still open.

Using examples of the most popular money-saving chatbots (Trim, Cleo, Chip, Plum) we’ve unveiled how they work and what technologies they use in our recent article Plum, Chip, Trim, Cleo: How Do These Money-Saving Chatbots Work behind the Scenes?

Would you like to read about our model of work? Read this article Why We Do Not Use Fixed Bids.

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